Beer Review 0288: Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury…Ale

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‘Tis the season for all kinds of seasonal releases from Bell’s Brewing, located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The brewery has been producing beer since 1985, but the initial concept was a homebrew store. Well, any self respecting homebrew store will probably eventually start making its own ale; Bell’s started out brewing in 15 gallon soup kettles covered with Saran Wrap. Today, they’re one of the biggest craft brewers in the country, having just expanded to a second facility just this year.

Hell Hath No Fury was supposed to be a Belgian Dubbel, but when two Belgian yeast strains were blended, the beer became more like a stout with notes of roasted coffee and chocolate. Now classified as a Belgian Dark Ale, it comes in at 7.7% ABV (alcohol by volume) and is available once per year in mid-autumn.

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The pour brought on a small head, soapy and quickly fading. The beer was a deep brown color and had ruby red edges; otherwise, it was opaque in the light with the exception of the edges and bottom of the glass. This was clear in body on first pour, but near the bottom of the bottle, there was a moderate amount of yeast that clouded up the last half of the beer. Lacing was virtually non-existent, only leaving two thin patches on my glass.

And let the aromatics start the disappointment…tart cherries up front with a nice caramel base. There was some doughy and musty yeast, along with a hint of smoke and some banana and bubblegum. But what’s here is faint and puny, and I expected much more.

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On the palate, this beer starts out much how the aromatics did: some dark cherries and caramel, which quickly changes to a much more roasted middle, with some coffee and dark chocolate. The finish was sweet and ushers in a touch of the Belgian yeast, drying out the mouth, and leaving behind rich coffee and a chocolate note that is in between milk and dark. Hell Hath No Fury was medium-bodied, with a foamy mouthfeel and soft carbonation.

Save for the finishing coffee blast, this beer is boring and disappointing when you figure it comes from Bell’s. Not bad, but as I said when describing the aroma…I was expecting much more. It’s Bell’s! Come on, guys.

Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury…Ale, 82 points. Price: $2.99 US for one twelve ounce bottle.

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